The Slatest

Trump Gets Dinged in Interview for Not Knowing Much About Who’s Who in the Middle East

Donald Trump found himself briefly cornered during a call-in radio interview on Thursday. The presidential candidate was a guest on the The Hugh Hewitt Show when conservative host Hugh Hewitt began examining the real estate magnate’s foreign policy chops. Trump seemed to know something was coming, as Hewitt has a nose for generating news (most recently by asking Republican candidates if they would attend a gay wedding), but it was not a flattering exchange for Trump, who confessed to gaping holes in his foreign policy understanding.

Trump managed to emerge only slightly bloodied from the interview and the damage was contained largely thanks to Hewitt’s willingness to move on as Trump grasped for answers or provided patently absurd ones. At one point, Trump assured Hewitt: “I will be so good at the military, your head will spin.”

The back-and-forth began with Hewitt, who will co-moderate the upcoming GOP debate on CNN, asking not just about the Iran deal—but specifically the response of Qassim Suleimani, the commander of the Quds Force of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guards. Hewitt asked if Trump knew who Suleimani was. Trump obviously didn’t, so Hewitt described him as “running the Quds forces.” Trump responded with an unfortunate assessment of the treatment of the Kurds.

Hewitt gently bailed Trump out, but got to the larger point he was trying to make: the intricate politics of the Middle East is not Manhattan real estate. “Do you know the players without a scorecard yet?” Hewitt asked. Trump responded that it essentially didn’t matter who the current players in the region were because by the time he’s hypothetically president in 16 months they’ll all be gone. “I’m a delegator,” Trump decided as he accused Hewitt of asking gotcha questions. “The day after the election I’ll know more about it than you will ever know,” Trump concluded.